There is a daunting challenge to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition in women at high risk of acquiring HIV. Of the 37 million people globally living with HIV, more than half are women. Women account for nearly 60% of adults with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, where unprotected heterosexual sex is the primary driver of the epidemic. While male condoms are effective, they are not always used, and this is not something women can control. Women urgently need prevention tools they can decide to use, independent of a husband or partner. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), in which HIV-uninfected persons with ongoing HIV risk use antiretroviral (ARV) medications as chemoprophylaxis against sexual HIV acquisition, is a promising new HIV prevention strategy. We review recent advances in the development of new biomedical HIV prevention interventions with a highlight of findings from pivotal clinical trials, as well as a discussion on future generation strategies for women.
Part of the book: HIV/AIDS